General Power of Attorney

A General Power of Attorney (GPA), also known as an Ordinary Power of Attorney (OPA), is a type of power of attorney that gives another person the legal right to act on your behalf for matters of property and financial affairs.

Normally when we think of powers of attorney we think of Lasting Power of Attorneys (LPAs). These are excellent legal documents and under normal circumstances would be the preferred option because of the scope and security they provide.

Why choose a GPA right now?

The problem is that at the moment LPA applications are taking about 16 weeks to be registered by The Office of the Public Guardian. LPAs cannot be used until they are registered, so if you are in a hurry then you can forget it!

The other big issue currently with putting an LPA in place is getting it completed in the first place. This requires you, a certificate provider, at least one attorney, and a witness to witness the donor and all attorney’s signatures. In an ideal world the certificate provider could act as the witness to all people involved limiting the amount of people who need to be involved in the signing, but even without the current social distancing rules managing to gather the donor and all of their attorneys together is a rare occurrence, with attorneys often living far away from the donor. This process alone can take many weeks to put in place and can place others at risk of infection.

A GPA doesn’t face the same restrictions. There is no registration requirement, so the document is ready to use as soon as it has been properly signed. There are also less people involved in the creation of a GPA. The only people who need to sign are you and a witness.

The witness could be someone else in the household, allowing the GPA to be made without placing anyone else at risk.

Our recommendation

LPAs provide premium cover but a GPA is a good alternative and one can be put in place immediately.

Call Ann-Marie 07876 526799 or email